Running into My Older Self

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I was all of fourteen, applying a healthy coat of Noxema to my pimpled face, when the strangest thing happened. The mirror became cloudy, though I wasn’t running the hot water in the sink or shower. As the fog cleared a bit, I noticed a face in it that was very familiar, but somehow different.

“Hey, kid,” the older version of me said.

I jumped back, startled and exhilarated at the same time. “How the heck did you..?”

“Shut up, Don. I’ve only got a few minutes. Through an experimental technological advance I stumbled upon in the year 2015, I was able to tune in to your frequency.”

“But…”

“Butt my ass! Hush up and listen.”

The man in the mirror was handsome, though his hair had become gray in some places. His eyes had seen things that would unravel in my future. I listened to every word he said.

“…And two more things,” he told me. “For one, there are no flying cars like they’ve been promising. You can work on developing a highway system that can handle those. It’ll make you filthy rich. Secondly, don’t change anything about yourself. You are perfect in your imperfections. Other than a few missteps, you’ll be just fine. I could tell you what those are, but then you wouldn’t learn the lessons that will make you a better man.”

“Wow,” I said, my voice cracking slightly. I was still in the throes of an awkward adolescence.

“If you don’t remember anything else, remember the last thing I told you. The mistakes will come; it’s how you bounce back from them that will make all the difference. Focus on learning the lessons.”

“Thanks,” I said to the dapper gentleman with the wizened grin.

As I wiped the glass, he disappeared as if he was never there. I wondered if he’d been a figment of my imagination, except for one thing: he told me who my wife was going to be. I made it a point to ensure that she would be treated like a queen when the time came.

I thought about those flying cars and the highway system that could handle them. I was due to elect my classes for the coming school year. I would ensure I gravitated to the sciences and brushed up on my math. I had virtual roads to build and an awesome life ahead of me.

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(Something of) A Love Letter to My Scribbling Siblings

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Swim to It

Dear Scribblers,

We are a special lot; a peculiar people, if you will. We are those who create from the vast inner space that lies between our two ears. Though we are not God, we exercise a power very much like the Divine. We lord (or in some cases, BROOD) over the paper and the writing utensil. Like addicted physicians, we draft our own prescriptions while attempting to make sense of a world that is just as crazy. We sip the spiked Kool Aid and find ourselves asking for more. Maybe we are insane for holding up the worlds we’ve made like Atlas with a lower back problem, but we DO. We MUST!

The chance of becoming rich and famous doing this is slim to none. And yet, living for the positive review, and the chance at building a fanbase, we carry on. We burn midnight oil and speak of our characters as if they are real. On the planets we fashion for them, they are. Using the mental dust found on our cobwebbed library shelves of experience, we form the clay that makes the heroines, leading men, foils, monsters, and villains that inhabit our universe. We bend and break rules of gravity and physics to get our points across. Not an easy feat to pull off while pecking the keys with our noses because our straitjackets were recently refitted!

I love writers. We dare to strike a match and curse the darkness of boredom and normality. We spin stories of places that may never exist and try to make sense of a real world that does not. We press on. We dream. We write.

Keep scribblin’.

Respect My Page

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I have many friends of many races, stripes, faiths, etc. My page will not be a forum for arguments. I already know the world is screwed up. I don’t need to come home from a long day at work, log on expecting a few laughs, and walk into a conversational wood chipper.

Don’t like the current president or some other politician (and that’s regardless of WHO sits in office today or in the coming years)? Keep it off my page. Got some hot button on race or sexual politics? Don’t press that button here. Want to just gripe, bitch, or moan about something? I’ve got enough negativity I exorcise daily; I don’t need anymore. I am not a hippie, and I don’t believe that holding hands and singing “Kumbaya” is going to change everything. I do, however, pick the causes I champion, and I tend to watch what I say in social media. As my mother says, everybody doesn’t have to hear what I think all the time. Want to know what I think? Buy and read my books.

Here’s what I believe:

– Race has us ALL effed up in this country because there is a legacy of racism we’re still dealing with. Racism is VERY real and still exists. However, not everyone is racist.

– I hate to admit it, but more BLACK people kill BLACK people in my hometown than any interracial crime of the same sort. That’s sad and should be protested and CHANGED. I’m not saying there is no outrage when there is a racist lynching (because there IS!); I’m saying that it’s outrageous that we’ve come to accept black-on-black crime as the norm.

– Some police officers abuse their authority, just as do some priests. That doesn’t mean all cops or religious leaders are abusive. Though I need to work on my cussing and snarky commentary, a Christian, too. Oh yeah, and I’m VERY proud to be Black. I’m a veteran. And I like guns.

– I do not hate any group of people, though I do believe that religious extremism, just as any process espousing degradation, systematic sexism, ritualistic murder, terrorism, and the like needs to be CRUSHED. And it’s not just the followers of Islam who are taking things to the extreme. Don’t forget, most Klanners call themselves Christian, and they’ve waged a terror campaign for over 200 years…

– I am not gay and couldn’t care less whether or not homosexuals are allowed to marry. From where I’m sitting, we heterosexuals, with our 51% divorce rate don’t have it together in that arena, either. I don’t understand homosexuality, but I also don’t pay the bills of, and therefore have no say over two consenting adults.

– I don’t care which political party you back. The older I get, the more I want to quote the Chuck D line: “…Neither party is mine / not the jackass nor the elephant…”

– I like making jokes about women, just as I do about the stupid things we men do. When I use the term “bytchez”, it has nothing to do with gender and is for the purpose of amusement, hence the misspelling. I do not believe in disrespecting women, no matter what the cause.

– Because of where I grew up, I know that TRUE thug life is a downward spiral. Ever had real-life heroin-addicted zombies hanging around the staircase of your building, trying to score another hit from the apartment upstairs? Ever seen the corpse of a woman who’d been murdered by her pimp lie in a hall for days before being retrieved? Ever had a neighbor who raped his girlfriend’s infant daughter, then threw her out of the 3rd floor window to her death? THAT’S thug life. I’ve seen and experienced a lot, so anyone trying to be or look like a thug (insert sagging pants here) has no conversation for me. I enjoy videos that poke fun at what thug life is (i.e., a racoon stealing food from cats; a smart-ass kid making a snarky comment when in the Scared Straight program).

I could go on and on, but you get my drift. I’m down for speaking out against stuff upon which we can all generally agree: child abuse; rape; domestic violence; animal neglect… But keep even those topics down to a dull roar on my page. I come here to chill, relax, share some positive ideas, and have a few laughs. I’ll leave the headaches for my workday (and there aren’t many there, because I have a job I enjoy).

I don’t mind if you like this post. I don’t mind if you make positive commentary and it sparks a healthy exchange of ideas. However, please do NOT share this, as these are MY views. If you want to use it as a template for your own post, feel free.

Thanks,

Don

Daylight Saving Time Out (Opposite of a Love Letter)

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Dear Daylight Saving Time,

You SUCK! You come around to disrupt my sleep and make life miserable. If you haven’t noticed, you have worn out your welcome, with your antiquated stories of the glory days. NO MORE! When I see your ass on the street, my boys and I are gonna jump you, take your wallet, then kick you down a flight of stairs. We’ll have your driver’s license and will visit your house to threaten Mrs. DST, in case she gets any bright ideas about calling the authorities. Maybe THEN you’ll get the hint that your presence is no longer required! You’ve got until sundown to get outta town–oh, that’s right: the time changed!!!

Sincerely,

Don, aka William Nefarious Hinderparts

Don’s Lexicon of Misappropriated Language

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Smile

 

DON’S LEXICON OF MISAPPROPRIATED LANGUAGE (Part 1)

Rod Serling set the standard with his speech that opens ‘The Twilight Zone.’ However, this other dimension has to do with using twisted, carjacked English, re-appropriated for use as I see fit. In this other dimension of not only sight nor sound but of mind, intentional misspellings, double entendres and sugar weaseling of words abound.

That said, here are the terms of the day, broken down so even troglodytes and prolific knuckleheads can understand. Enjoy!

NATHAN: A substitute for “nothing.” In a sentence, “That fool thought he was going to rob me but was only doing it for practice. I ain’t had nathan in my pockets but lint!”

DEM SHYTZ: A rehashing of “them shits” which, in itself, is improper English. A favorite saying for Steed (have you read ‘Dead Assets’ yet, mang?), which is a stand-in for just about anything in plurality. In a sentence, “The barbecued ribs were too mild, so I had to put some hot sauce on dem shytz!”

MANG: Scoobert Beardy Mills and PastorKevin McLemore love this term, which I derived from ‘Scarface’ and Howlin’ Wolf’s “Mannish Boy” (though the latter comes off more like “main”). It’s a mispronunciation of “man”, which, when used in a sentence, surpasses gender and is a stand-in term for a person for whom the speaker has some sort of affection or passion. It is often used with the term “main” for humorous effect: “Herb is cool. He’s my main mang, mang!”

SLAPCHU: An antiquated term from my old neighborhood, which denotes the putting down of one’s pimp hand. “What?! You been out on the corner all night and this is all you have to show for it?! Don’t make Sweet Daddy Sugar Weasel have to slapchu!”

CAT: A term of affection for a cool dude. Often used with the term “smoove”: “Reggie might be the smoovest cat we know!”

WWF TERMINOLOGY: Used for dramatic, laughable effect: “Every time I get into it with my old lady, she be comin’ off the top rope like Jimmy Superfly Snukka with the People’s Elbow!”

PIMP SLAPPAGE: Just what it sounds like.

UNCONSCIOUS: To a point that surpasses the senses; to an extreme.

SPANKS: Thanks.

UNDEROOS: (Often used in conjunction with a favorite superhero) Underwear or pajamas, most often for comedic effect. “I was lazy as hell yesterday, sittin’ around the house all day rockin’ my Captain America Underoos with the trapdoor and the feet in ’em…”

FYC: Short for “f*** yo’ couch”, from the “Rick James” segment of ‘Chappelle’s Show’. A favorite inside joke and term of endearment between me, Robert Hall and Charles Streat. The couch can also be replaced with a loveseat (FYLS), ottoman (FYO) or any other random piece of furniture.

HOLLIN’ 1-8-7 WMDIYM, FOOL: A term used for a random burst of laughter or unexpected comedy. I won’t explain “WMDIYM”, though. Reference Snoop and you’ll be fine.

WHIPPER-SNAPPER / GIPPER-GAPPER / YOUNG GRASSHOPPER / PADAWAN: A younger or relatively inexperienced individual.

TRUE DAT: Same as “Ain’t that the truth!”

I’LL BEHAVE: Same as “Allow me to retort. I just posted something bordering on X-rated when this is a PG-13 format…but I really ain’t sorry!”